A Devil is top 10 in the league. Wanna try to guess who?
Cory? Well, yeah, Cory Schneider is really good. He's probably a top 5 goalie actually. How about a skater?
Larsson? Well, yes Adam Larsson and Andy Greene are really good too as I mentioned last week. But there's two of them. How about a forward?
Zacha? Okay he's not even in the NHL yet let's chill. I don't care how much he's tearing up the OHL.
Cammalleri ... okay? I'm talking about Mike Cammalleri...jeez.
As of this writing, Cam is tied for 6th in the NHL in points. Sixth! The Devils have an elite forward on their hands and we rarely discuss how totally invaluable he is to this team. My guess is because he is having the least surprising season of all the Devils top forwards.
Kyle Palmieri was our big offseason acquisition and he's the local boy. The guy is absolute fire with the puck on his stick and it's got the feel of a steal. Theft of a young player from a suddenly struggling Anaheim team.
Lee Stempniak was the definition of bargain. He was a 50/50 to even make the team as a training camp tryout. Since it took us 3 games to put him on the top line, people forget he had a point in each of the first two games. He's been a genuine producer and a genuine surprise.
Zajac has been the renaissance story. I mean he's really been dependent on the powerplay for production, but since we've been waiting 6 years for his return, we get a bit trigger-happy with the proclamation.
Adam Henrique is the Devils' golden boy. The second the "Henrique, it's over!" goal happened, he was folklore. Since then though he has become the most reliable producer on the team. He is just 25 and he is the only Devil to have finished in the top 4 on the team in scoring each of the past 3 years. He is also very active on twitter and in the community. The "A" on his chest legitimizes the persona he is becoming in the community.
And all of this clouds what should be an obvious fact. Mike Cammalleri is indisputably the best forward on this team. Rico led us in points last year, a feet that I'm sure more than a couple Devils fans were rooting for. Him beating out Cam feels like the real Devil won to some. But Cammalleri was the leader in points per game and is again this season. Fittingly, he is currently 4th among forwards in point shares behind only Benn, Sguin, and Daniel Sedin. This makes him an objectively elite player in the NHL. Yet, I bet in the last year of his contract, we will see more Zacha, Henrique, Palmieri, Schneider, Greene, and Larsson jerseys. That's a shame. Cammelleri is on his way to being a great Devil. If he kept this level of production through his contract, he could put together the best 5-year offensive stretch in Devils history. Think I'm exaggerating? Cam is currently averaging over a point per game. A season is 82 games. Would you like to know the list of Devils that have scored 82 points in a season more than once? Kirk Muller. That's it.
He is the best generator of offense since Kovalchuk and Parise. He has done this two years in a row with totally different linemates. Has the top line clicked? Of course. You know why? Because Cammalleri is really ******* good. Look at the WOWYs for him an Henrique.
He's been even better without his top linemate somehow. Also look at Rico's numbers sans-Cam. There should be little doubt who the stud is here.
Adam Henrique and Andy Greene have been my favorite two Devils since Rico came into the league. That makes it all the harder for me to say this:
Mike Cammelleri is the best skater on the Devils. Period.